Town Problems

The group of ragged refugees sat down at one of the tables in the inn and ordered some food. They were starving after their arduous trek through the snow. At another table close by sat a group of rowdy dwarves. They were already well under way in their drinking and were talking loudly about a nast set of murders that had been the talk of the town for a while. There had been a string of murders, apparently, the latest of which had occurred in the very town they were in. It had been a huge piece of news as the murdered victim had been a dwarven glass blower. 

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A fellow clans woman wanted vengeance. All of the locations where murder had occurred had one thing in common. They all held lotteries. There was a lottery each week, a sacrifice that was made to the Frostmaiden, to ensure the safety of the town from her wrath. While some other towns preferred to sacrifice more benign things like fire or food, Bryn Shander, Targos, and Easthaven all held lotteries. Whoever was picked was set out into the wilderness with no clothing to protect them so they died in the Frostmaiden’s name. The clans woman wanted to find the killers and she had a pretty good idea who they were. Trogg’s Merchant Group was the one thing that was the same in all the places where people were murdered. They had been in each of the towns on they days around the murders. It could not be a coincidence but she did not want the authorities involved. She wanted a discreet investigation that, when it led to the capture of the killer, would result in the subsequent death of the killer. The woman offered a hefty reward for such a service. 

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As the group of refugees was pondering this bit of news a ragged band of dwarves burst into the inn and lay where they fell in shock and fear. To see dwarves afraid, especially ones wearing the crest of Battlehammer, was disconcerting. One of the dwarves got up on shaky legs and beseeched the room for help. Their band of miners had been working in the mountains when they had been attacked by a Yeti. They had managed to remove a good portion of ore ingots One of their friends had been mauled to death by Yeti in its fury. They were pleading for someone to go and collect whatever was left of their friend and the ore. Once they had the ore, they would be able to pay handsomely for their return. The room was silent as the dwarf’s pleas finished echoing off the walls. The ragged group recovering in their seats had finished eating at this point and had agreed to help the dwarves. They needed a way to earn their living while trapped here by the strange magical winter that held the land. There was simply no other way. Gathering their resolve, they agreed to go into the snowy wilderness to collect a small fortune and a corpse from a location fraught with Yeti’s. 

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Having made their bargain with the traumatized dwarves, the group headed over to a local general store to purchase gear for the coming journey. The promise of a large faceted red jewel as payment was a great motivator. The shop was called the Black Iron Blades, run by Garn The Hammer, a young dwarf with a stocky build. While outfitting the group with snow gear, including snowshoes, he learned that they were off in search of the missing ore. His own work was not great. The work was shoddy and untrained. He saw that Dvalin carried a large forging hammer and offered his fully functioning forge at the other end of the shop free of charge if they came back alive from their mission. Dvalin, missing his own lovingly crafter forge, felt overwhelming gratitude for Garn’s kindness and offered to teach the dwarf what he could when he used the forge. They agreed and, as an added bonus, Dvalin was also offered any work at half off if he brought in the materials. 

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Garn’s sister, Eliza, was busy outfitting the others for the excursion and was talking about some of the strange things that had been going on recently. People were getting more desperate as food started to run low in the Ten Towns. Bryn Shander was really the only town that was trying to keep the peace in the area. Brenna purchased some whale oil, nodding in agreement at the news that things were getting worse. In this area it was worth more than gold. Even the one gallon she had purchased was a small treasure. Her pelts were also in high demand for alternative warmth. The group pulled on all of their gear, including the snow shows and made their way out. They could not take the children on such a treacherous journey so they went to the inn, The Northlook, and purchased a couple days for a room and essentially barricaded the children in. They left money for food with Maxim and warned them to stay inside to avoid being messed with. Once the children were situated and settled, the others left to take on their quest. 

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Brenna saw that Zephyrs was looking sick with worry and she tried to cheer him up. She let him know that if they needed to, they could always send the children to stay with her mother in their secluded home. Brenna’s mother would keep the children safe while they did what they needed to do. Zephyr only looked slightly less worried with the promise. It was getting to be late but they asked the guards to let them out of the town for the night. The spell over the land caused a wonderful display of northern lights when it was cast each night which made it the brightest part of the day. Perfect for a mission in the snow. The guards warned them that if they were let out, they would not be let back in until morning. They could not take the change that they were letting in something more than human. The group agreed and the guards began to swing the doors open. They left just enough space for the group to leave one by one and shut the gate with a loud thud behind them. 

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The silence after the thud was even more deafening and the group forced themselves to walk forward. Ahead of them lay the open wilderness with perils that they could only imagine. Their only advantage was the wild woman that led the way through the powdery top snow on her well used snowshoes, tamping the snow down to make it easier for those following. The guards watched as their forms disappeared into the snowy landscape.

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Published by dndwife

My husband and I run a dungeons and dragons table together and I write about our crazy adventures both in and out of the story. My husband DM's and I am the table artist. I paint minis for everyone at the table and provide crafted gifts like dice boxes, bags, and artwork.

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